Transformational Leadership Program - Scholarships and Partnerships

Game Design Scholar Featured in American Newspaper

Last week, TLP-SP scholar Agnesa Belegu was featured in a front-page article on social gaming trends in the American daily Orlando Sentinel.

Belegu (pictured above, far right), originally from Peja, studies interactive game production at Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA).

Since beginning her program last fall, she has taken part in the development of five games and is currently contributing to three more.

One of these games is a six-month team capstone project called “Child No More”, an original 3-D story-driven adventure game that she pitched to FIEA faculty and students.

The Orlando Sentinel took special notice of the game in light of a growing number of contemporary video games that opt to portray more serious topics.

“It's a prime example of a new national trend of more video games aimed at social commentary, as the first gaming generation ages,” wrote author Marco Santana in the article.

Belegu, who is also the 3-D story-driven adventure game’s lead designer, was inspired to create the game concept by her childhood in Kosovo.

She says the game “focuses on the perspective of the non-hero, the victimized protagonist struggling to survive in an unforgiving war-zone”.

Belegu said the game’s content has also stimulated important discussions and learning opportunities between project team members.

“A lot of my team members were not aware of the Balkan conflicts…It’s been an interesting path of growth to have to bring attention to a dark period of our culture, but necessary to understand and learn from them,” she said.

The team will complete the gameby August, and Belegu will graduate from FIEA the following December whereupon she will return to Kosovo to explore establishing a gaming industry.

“My biggest goal is to bring back something new - a fresh perspective, a completely new industry to explore and a way to harvest and invest whatever passion for this industry youth in Kosovo have,” she said.

“I've learned from FIEA that the best way to learn is by failure - the faster you fail, the quicker you learn. The ideal environment I'd seek to build in Kosovo is one that allows room for experimentation, creates space for people to be an active part of their team and practice their roles within them.”

Read Santana’s story on the Orlando Sentinel website and learn more about Belegu’s work on her online portfolio.

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